Regional cortical thinning in subjects with violent antisocial personality disorder or schizophrenia.

TitleRegional cortical thinning in subjects with violent antisocial personality disorder or schizophrenia.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsNarayan, VM, Narr KL, Kumari V, Woods RP, Thompson PM, Toga AW, Sharma T
JournalThe American journal of psychiatry
Date Published2007 Sep
KeywordsAdolescent, Adult, Antisocial Personality Disorder, Atrophy, Brain, Brain Mapping, cerebral cortex, Frontal Lobe, Functional Laterality, Humans, Imaging, Three-Dimensional, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Middle Aged, Prefrontal Cortex, Schizophrenia, Schizophrenic Psychology, Violence

Violent behavior is associated with antisocial personality disorder and to a lesser extent with schizophrenia. Neuroimaging studies have suggested that several biological systems are disturbed in schizophrenia, and structural changes in frontal and temporal lobe regions are reported in both antisocial personality disorder and schizophrenia. The neural substrates that underlie violent behavior specifically and their structural analogs, however, remain poorly understood. Nor is it known whether a common biological basis exists for aggressive, impulsive, and violent behavior across these clinical populations. To explore the correlates of violence with brain structure in antisocial personality disorder and schizophrenia, the authors used magnetic resonance imaging data to investigate for the first time, to the authors' knowledge, regional differences in cortical thickness in violent and nonviolent individuals with schizophrenia and/or antisocial personality disorder and in healthy comparison subjects. Subject groups included right-handed men closely matched for demographic variables (total number of subjects=56). Violence was associated with cortical thinning in the medial inferior frontal and lateral sensory motor cortex, particularly in the right hemisphere, and surrounding association areas (Brodmann's areas 10, 11, 12, and 32). Only violent subjects with antisocial personality disorder exhibited cortical thinning in inferior mesial frontal cortices. The biological underpinnings of violent behavior may therefore vary between these two violent subject groups in which the medial frontal cortex is compromised in antisocial personality disorder exclusively, but laminar abnormalities in sensorimotor cortices may relate to violent behavior in both antisocial personality disorder and schizophrenia.

Alternate JournalAm J Psychiatry